Quick-Thinking Students Stop a Man From Abducting a Classmate at a Bus Stop
Maryland middle school students jumped into action when someone tried to abduct one of their own.
Quick-thinking middle school students thwarted a man who abducted a classmate Monday at a bus stop in Gaithersburg, Maryland, police said. Jamaal Germany, 31, of Gaithersburg, was arrested on multiple charges in the suspected kidnapping attempt. Here's what you need to know about this shocking crime.
Where Did This Happen?
The incident took place at about 7:20 a.m. Monday at a bus stop on Towne Crest Drive in Gaithersburg. Students of Redland Middle School were waiting for the school bus that morning when a man approached, the Montgomery County Department of Police said in a news release.
The unidentified victim was among the students at the bus stop when a man "grabbed the child and pulled them toward an apartment building," police said in a news release. "Several students who were standing at the bus stop attempted to intervene and the victim was able to break free," police said. "When the school bus arrived, all the students boarded the bus and the incident was reported to school staff."
What Happened Next
The victim was not harmed, school officials said. Students reported the incident to the middle school's Community Engagement Officer about a half hour after the incident. Police quickly identified Germany as a suspect, police said.
The parent of a local high school student, who declined to be identified, told NBC Washington that it's not the first time a man has tried to abduct a student. "Apparently he was at the bus stop last week doing the same thing," the parent said.
The Schools' Response
Principals at Judith Resnik Elementary School, Redland Middle School, and Col. Zadok Magruder High School sent a joint letter to families in the school district shortly after the incident. "This morning, there was an attempted abduction of a Redland Middle School student at the bus stop located at the intersection of Towne Crest Drive and Towne Crest Court," the letter said. "An individual tried to pull a student into a residence, but the student was able to get away and board the school bus as it arrived."
The letter outlined steps the schools will take to ensure student safety, adding that they will offer emotional support resources to students who were involved. "There will continue to be an increased security presence by both [the school district] and [police] today and tomorrow at the impacted bus stop," the letter added. "We are sharing this information with all three school communities given that the bus stop where the incident occurred is used by students from these schools."
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What Happened to Germany
Germany was charged with attempted kidnapping and second-degree assault. He was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit. It's not clear whether he will be granted bail. It's also unclear whether he has a lawyer. Special Victims Investigation Division detectives asked people who believe they may have been victims to call 240-773-5400.